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I have an opportunity to interview for a job in the PNW. I am planning to check out Portland, Seattle, and the area in between, but I have a limited amount of time.
So, what do you recommend seeing and doing for getting a flavor of the area with two days or less in Portland? And two days or less in Seattle? What about the area in between?
Sightseeing? Saturday market
Children's activities? Omsi, and for kids under 10 the childrens museum
Farmer's markets? the big one opens March 20th http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/
Restaurants? not quite a restaurant, but a have to go to to get the weirdness of Portland. http://voodoodoughnut.com/
the market at the PSU campus is the farmers market, which is bountiful and delicious. usually there is live music, and loads of people out and about, with park blocks (stretches of green space and benches) stretching out on either side. there is a playground nearby, too, if your child(ren) are into that.
the Saturday Market is more about wares, arts and cooked food (you can get cooked food at either market, but more variety of prepared foods at the Saturday Market, I believe). It is closer to the river (the Willamette River divides west and east Portland). there is also live music there, usually busking, same as the farmers market.
both places are great for people watching, and getting a good feel for the city and the people in it. no need to be bored at either.
if you're at the saturday market, you will be close to the pearl district. lots of window shopping. there is sip and kranz where small children can play happily while you have a portland coffee shop moment.
i think the japanese and chinese gardens are great. riding the street car, going to the very large downtown library, visiting finnegans toy store if you're interested in that kind of thing, just walking around the city and looking at the sculptures, statues and fountains. april is too early for the fountains to be on.
if you have a car rental, then you could easily go to the arboretum, audubon society, or pittock mansion -- all abut forest park and give you some great short walks in an urban pacific northwest forest. there's really too much to do in two days. have fun!
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